If there is one thing that defined the World Cup winners, Argentina, it was unity. The singularity of purpose and degree of sacrifice of each player was visible on the pitch in every match. It was something Lionel Messi highlighted in his post-match reaction.
It is to manager Lionel Scaloni’s credit that he has managed to forge such a strong group over the past four years, after a disjointed and discontent camp was left battered by France in the 2018 World Cup quarter-final. Four years on, it was France whom they took the title off.
Speaking after the match, Scaloni took time out to tell a story about the Argentina captain, one Leo Messi.
“I have a very good anecdote about Messi, after Brazil, in San Juan, when we qualified for the World Cup, I spoke with him before he went to Paris. We were talking about something very substantial and [knew] the disappointment could also be very substantial. He told me: it doesn’t matter, we keep going. Surely it will go well and, if not, there is no harm in trying’.”
“[The conversation] gave me a lot of encouragement. I felt anxious and that chat took the weight off me. I told him how I felt. With his response I saw that something was being done well. It is a story that I want everyone to know because it is terrific.”
Sport carried his comments. That chat took place in November of 2021, with Argentina qualifying on the 16th against Brazil, following a 0-0 draw with the Selecao.
Messi has grown into his leadership role with Argentina over the years and this World Cup no doubt saw the most passionate and hungry version of the diminutive star seen to date. Turns out even managers need pep talks too sometimes.
Source by Football Espana